Silvia the Silver Slut - 2003 Toyota Tundra

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DP_Ranger

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2010
1,472
336
83
dana point
Well dudes, after going through my photobucket account for the first time in years and finding a bunch of pictures that I deleted off old phones due to the “no storage left” life, I’ve finally decided to make a build thread for my tundra. I’m going to try to do this in the most chronological order as possible and not jump between timelines and events. Expect many edits as I’m sure many adult beverages will be consumed during the making of and the updating of this thread. I’m sure it’s going to take me a few days to bring the thread to current but feel free to ask any questions you might have about my truck or yours. I have a plethora of knowledge on the first gen Tundra’s and I love sharing it and helping out any way I can. I’ll include a few of what I’ll call “tundra PRO Tips” in this thread as well. Just little tips here and there to help you out in little or big ways if you’d like to build one of these trucks.

History: I bought her in February 2013. She had come up for sale on craigslist about a year prior and was exactly what I was looking for. It only popped up for sale that one time and luckily I took a screenshot of the ad. I texted the guy probably 10 months later when I had the cash to buy it and he still had it sitting in his garage in Upland. It was a 2nd vehicle for him and he only used it to take his dirt bike to the track and ocotillo.

It had 114k miles on the clock when I bought it and came with a Total Chaos kit on the front with a set of glassworks fenders. It was bone stock aside from that and the usual intake/exhaust/sound system.
The first trip out I quickly learned the truck had never been driven offroad, just like the guy I bought it from had told me. More details on that later.. (Not a good thing)

When I bought it, I owned Chris Isenhour’s old F150 and had the intention to build that, as that’s my all time dream truck to build a prerunner with. If I ever sell this truck, it will be a standard cab 92-96 F150 that I build next.
However, I needed a solid, reliable DD and work truck, and the tundra ended up being exactly what the doctor ordered. I sold the F150 a few days after buying the tundra. She’s been the most reliable, trusty steed I’ve ever owned. I had owned I think 6 fords previous to this Toyota and let me tell ya, this Toyota was a breath of fresh air; as far as reliability and durability goes. However, as far as building a prerunner out of, the tundra is THE worst platform to start with to build into an offroad truck. Buy a yota pickup, ranger or f150 if you want to build a prerunner for as little money as possible. Anyways..

She was my daily driver, work truck, and weekend warrior for 6 years and 160,000 miles. Of those miles, I’d say ~6,000 were dirt miles. I retired her in March of last year, 2019, with 260k miles on the clock. The only maintenance she’s ever needed aside from fluid changes have been: water pump/timing belt service (every 100k per Toyota) a new radiator, 2 bad wheel bearings, a few sensors, and a pulley bearing. (Story on the pulley bearing later also) Hands down, it has been the best truck/vehicle I have ever or will ever own.

Enough jibber jabber. Let’s get onto some photos of when I first brought her home and get into the actual building and having fun part. There will TONS of pictures to come so I hope your internet connection is solid.

February 2013

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DP_Ranger

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2010
1,472
336
83
dana point
Without touching a thing, I took it out for her maiden voyage 2 months later. It was the first weekend of April 2013. Took her to Ocotillo for what I’m almost positive was a DR trip but I could be wrong. Chris and Alyssa Russel came out, and I think it was Logan’s first desert trip or one of the first with the ranger he still has now and has turned into a really fucking nice truck. Carlos from Camburg was there too. He put his ranger into a wall on the way to pole line road and that was the last time his truck saw the desert for like 5 years until after it got linked. We still talk about that when we see each other haha

Everything went well for the tundra, there was tons of rubbing in the rear with the 35’s, stock suspension, and stock bed and bedsides but I expected that. The front end was decent but was just sloppy and soft. I noticed the coilover reservoir hose was developing a wear mark after the first run.. It wasnt there when I got there last night. It was apparent the upper arm was rubbing the hose when going into bump. Not a big deal..(at that point)
This is sadly the only picture I can find from that trip. At the am/pm off the 86 outside of truck haven on our way there if I remember correctly. There’s the Russel’s old bronco “Minty” in its early days. And a tiny glimpse of Logan’s ranger over my hood.

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found one more
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Found another one

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found more pics

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DP_Ranger

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2010
1,472
336
83
dana point
I’m really bummed I can’t find any pictures of the next trip.. It was another DR trip not long after ocotillo. It was a meetup in Barstow. I know a bunch of people remember this one..
Basically showed up and everyone wanted to hit Barstow Del. Understandable. Let’s go!!
Everything was hunky dory for about a mile until my steering doesn’t really seem to steer too well anymore and there’s a really funny smell all of a sudden...
Fuck it, still gonna send it! Continue sending until Barstow Del parking lot..
I go to turn into a parking spot and she really doesn’t want to turn.. Get out and discover my spindle has separated itself into 2 pieces instead of the more desirable 1 piece unit as accustomed to..
Sick. Proceed to go instead and order delicious Del Taco
The very generous human known as Brandon Goetsch goes back to main, gets truck/trailer and picks me up and we all go back to main. Commence night-time shenanigans.
Next morning get a replacement spindle delivered to Barstow thanks to the now defunct Engage Offroad guys. Fuck I wish I had some of those pics. Good times. Fixed it on the trailer and drove home.

Edit: Found 2 pics!
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DP_Ranger

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2010
1,472
336
83
dana point
Started buying parts after that trip. First up was a full frontal prep. Gave her the full Total Chaos accessory makeover. I bought everything they make for this front end and replaced everything. TC spindle gussets, TC heim steering upgrade with new FK heims, TC upper arm double sheer plates, TC bypass shock hoop, TC steering rack bushing kit, TC upper and lower arm bushings, TC bump stop spacers, new Toyota balljoints, new TC specific FK uniballs on the uppers. I can’t remember if I rebuilt the coilovers at this point too or not but that was done at the same time if not then shortly after.
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Also threw on new brake rotors and pads. Basically gave the front end a whole new lease on life.

found a few More pics from the first prep. I threw on the Total Chaos Heim steering upgrade and double sheered the balljoints.

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Tundra PRO Tip:
I believe this was the same time I also threw these support tubes in the empty space where the 4x4 diff goes. 2 tubes between the front and rear control arm mounts with some gussets. Just some 1” .120 child steel.

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